Divide your life into SOCIAL FIELDS (different areas of your life where you are consistently in contact with the same people like at school, work, coffee shops, etc). Some of these fields should involve regular contact with non-Christians and others with Christians and some with both. If you don’t have this variety in your life, something is wrong (go find some new fields to balance yourself out). Trying to merge fields (asking neighbors to come to existing Bible Studies or inviting coworkers to go church) is an option, but not always the most effective one. Many won’t make the journey to your more “religious” social fields. So what can you do?
In the fields where you are in regular contact with non-Christians, ask “Who’s there?” “Where are they spiritually?” “Are they NOT CURIOUS or CURIOUS or raw BELIEVERS?” “What are the recurring themes of conversation?” After considering who’s there and what they’re talking about, use your GOSPEL CONVERSATION skills (a personal & a biblical story) to dialogue about those themes. Share these stories as naturally as possible to show how your faith informs you on their subject of interest. Identify who’s curiosity has been aroused by your conversations and follow up accordingly. Good follow up is not always an invitation to a gospel-centered gathering. People who are genuinely curious may not be comfortable gathering with people who are genuinely convinced. Consider how to keep the conversation going in their field.
1.Don’t put all your eggs in one “engagement” basket but have multiple areas that you are engaging.
2.Use more than an invitation to church or Bible Study to gauge their curiosity like actual conversation (but if inviting works, do it!).
3.Look for responses like: “That’s interesting.” “I like that.” “I’ve never heard that before.” “That’s not what I expected.” “I think there is some truth to that.” “You know what I think?” “It doesn’t work that way for me.” Any response that keeps the conversation going is a good one.
1.Fill in the following for each of your fields:
-Who’s there? (names)
-Where are they spiritually? (NOT CURIOUS or CURIOUS or BELIEVERS or DISCIPLES)
-What are the recurring themes of conversation?
2.Consider some gospel implications that match your conversation themes.